A surrogate mother from Texas said she refused to abort a baby suffering a heart defect after his biological parents told her to do so.
Stephanie Levesque, who has been a surrogate mother three times, gave birth to a baby just days before Christmas on Dec. 21, 2017, at the Medical City Women’s Hospital in Dallas.
Doctors had told her weeks prior that the child suffered from a severe heart defect, prompting the biological parents to demand that she abort the child due to the risk. Levesque said it runs counter to her beliefs and refused to go through with it.
“I thought we were completely on the same page… I had no idea that if something did happen, we’d be so divided,” she told Dallas news outlet WFAA this week. “Before you proceed in carrying for a couple, you discuss your beliefs on abortion, you have to have really hard conversations.”
Levesque said the confrontation with the parents caused her to reach out to lawmakers to revise surrogacy laws in the state. She wants protection for biological parents and their surrogates.
Levesque said that when Dec. 21 arrived, hospital staff took the baby boy moments after birth. She said to this day, she doesn’t know his name or whether he is healthy.
“I don’t know his name. I don’t know how much he weighed. I don’t know if they chose to do surgery,” she told the station. “I assume they immediately took him to the NICU, but I do not know, I do not know.”
WFAA reported that one day after the birth, the boy’s parents, who were not identified, agreed to give the boy the immediate medical care he required.
“I had always done it with the excitement of making people parents,” she said. “I mean, I could not wait to hand those babies over and see them become parents after thinking they never would. But I had to kind of change my mindset and say, OK … this is for him now.”
In two previous surrogate pregnancies, Levesque said she delivered healthy babies. She remains close friends with the two other couples. “It’s the most beautiful gift you can ever give,” Levesque, a realtor and mother of two, said of the experience.
“I was given a voice for a reason, I was given a platform for a reason and because of all the heartache that I have experienced, I know my story’s not over, because I cannot end on heartache,” she added.
The biological parents ordered her to end the pregnancy over a birth defect and then seized him when she successfully carried him to full term
“I absolutely think if we can get some laws changed, everyone wins, everyone will benefit from that,” she said. “I one hundred and ten percent believe in surrogacy. It is my passion,” the mom added. “I definitely do not want my story to discourage people from being surrogates.”
She now is in the process of writing a book about her surrogacy story.
A Year Later
Last week, on Dec. 21, she went on Facebook to thank friends, family, and others for their support a year after her ordeal, the Daily Mail reported.
“First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for the support I’ve received throughout the last year,” she wrote. “Today is a hard one, and I can’t explain how much it means to feel like I’m being wrapped up in a huge hug by all my friends and family. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!”
The woman then spoke about the boy under the pseudonym Luca.
“In honor of Luca’s 1st birthday (Major shout-out to my brother-in-law, Kyle, who named my sweet surro-baby. (Kyle actually named him Luca prior to me being asked to abort.) Luca means ‘bringer of light,'” she wrote. “And how unbelievably appropriate is it that his mere existence is bringing light to so many issues?!? Amazing, right??)”
According to Texas state law, “The law governs gestational surrogacy arrangements—making them valid and enforceable—and allows surrogates to receive compensation for their time and services. Establishing parentage is seamless as Texas surrogates relinquish their parental rights before the baby is even born. Further, intended parents are recognized as the child’s legal parents upon his or her birth certificate [and] … surrogates won’t ever appear in court. Even in cases where a post-birth action is warranted (i.e., intended parents citizenship needs), the surrogates won’t need to appear in court,” Circle Surrogacy says.